This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAME. Balsam of Copaiba.
MEDICINAL PART. The oleo-resinous juice.
Description. -- Copaiba is a tall and handsome tree, with many small, crooked branches, and a grayish-brown bark. The leaves are large and equally pinnated, leaflets in pairs of from two to five, petioles short. The flowers are white; calyx four-parted; stamens, ten; fruit obovate, two-valved, and one-seeded.
History. -- There are several species which furnish oil of copaiba, all natives of South America and West Indies. The juice is obtained by deep incisions being made in the trunk during or following the wet season; the balsam (which, however, is not a balsam, as it contains no benzoic acid) flows freely, being clear, transparent, and fluid, but becoming pale yellowish in time. The oil is unpleasant in smell and taste.
Properties and Uses. -- In large doses, Copaiba is an irritant, but in proper doses it is stimulant, cathartic, and diuretic. It exerts a favorable influence on the mucous tissues of the system, diminishing excessive secretions, and for this purpose it is chiefly employed. Taken internally it gives warmth to the gastric region, and sometimes provokes nausea and emesis. It is especially useful in chronic mucous affections, as gonorrhoea, bronchitis, diseases of the bladder, gleet, chronic catarrh, diarrhoea, and dysentery, etc., etc. It was formerly regarded as a specific for gonorrhoea, but has lost some of its prestige. Locally it is an excellent application to fistulas, chilblains, old ulcers, etc.
Dose. -- From twenty to sixty drops in emulsion with yolk of egg and mint or cinnamon water.